Consumer Payment Card News

AIDS Card Goes Platinum

MBNAs year old Elton John AIDS Foundation VISA was beefed up yesterday with the addition of an airline miles program and with a new Platinum Plus version. The mileage program is the generic variety offering travel on most domestic carriers without regard to blackout periods. MBNAs platinum version of the AIDS VISA features no-annual-fee, credit lines to $100,000, year-end summary of charges and $1 million of common carrier travel accident insurance. During the past twelve months the card has generated $40,000 for the Foundation.

MBNA America Bank announced today that they are expanding their credit card program to benefit the Elton John AIDS Foundation by adding an optional airline travel rewards program on its Elton John AIDS Foundation VISA products. One year after introducing the Elton John AIDS Foundation VISA affinity credit card, MBNA America Bank, N.A. will now offer cardholders an expanded VISA product where points toward airline travel can be earned each time the card is used. Other unique advantages of the airline miles program include no blackout periods; guaranteed travel on most major U.S. carriers; and a 24-hour travel agency. Based on Elton John AIDS Foundation Visa card usage, MBNA makes on-going contributions to the charity.

MBNA has also introduced a Platinum Plus VISA card to benefit the Elton John AIDS Foundation. Like the other Foundation credit card products, Platinum Plus offers a low introductory APR on cash advances and balance transfers, and has no annual fee. Additional benefits of the Platinum Plus card include credit lines up to $100,000; a free year-end summary of charges; $1 million travel accidental insurance and a variable interest rate.

To apply for the Elton John AIDS Foundation VISA card or the new Platinum Plus VISA card, consumers may call the following toll-free phone number: 1 (800) 52-ELTON.

Since the Elton John AIDS Foundation endorsed MBNA in 1996 to launch the VISA program, MBNA has contributed more than $40,000 to the non-profit organization, which funds direct patient care services for men, women and children living with HIV/AIDS. “We are very pleased with the results from our VISA affinity card program to benefit the Elton John AIDS Foundation, said MBNA Regional Executive Vice President, Joseph DeSantis. “As we enter our second year, we look forward to continuing our support of the Elton John AIDS Foundation by promoting a variety of products that meet the needs of our MBNA customers.”

“This is an incredibly innovative fund-raising program,” said the charity’s Founder and Chairman, Elton John. “During our first year, MBNA worked hard to ensure a successful launch of the Elton John AIDS Foundation VISA card and we are very pleased with their efforts to expand the program in 1997 by offering additional incentives to the cardholder, such as an airline mileage reward program. We also realize that the customer has many choices when it comes to using credit and we appreciate the fact that they have chosen to support our charity and the fight against AIDS, through the use of this particular VISA card.”

The Elton John AIDS Foundation was established by Elton John in l992. It is an international non-profit organization with offices in Los Angeles and London. Grants from the Elton John AIDS Foundation encompass a broad spectrum of care services and programs ranging from funding for the latest effective drug treatment programs to food banks, meal delivery programs, legal aid, hospices, housing, counseling, education outreach programs, at-home care, and pediatric treatment centers. As of 1997, the Elton John AIDS Foundation has distributed more than $13 million in grants worldwide.

MBNA Corporation, a bank holding company and parent of MBNA America Bank, N.A., a national bank, has $43.2 billion in managed loans. MBNA, the country’s second largest credit card lender, also provides retail deposit, consumer loan, insurance and card acceptance services.

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